Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister of Conservation

7 January 2014       Media Statement 

Winter mountain biking on Heaphy Track permanently approved

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced at Karamea on the West Coast the permanent approval of mountain biking on the Heaphy Track from 1 May to 30 September each year.

“The Heaphy Track is New Zealand’s ultimate multi-day mountain biking experience. It traverses dramatic and diverse landscapes from mountain forests, to expansive grasslands and wild West Coast beaches,” Dr Smith says.

“The three-year trial has been a success and it is timely to make it a permanent feature of Nelson and the West Coast’s visitor attractions. Year-round mountain biking has also been approved on two other Kahurangi National Park tracks – the Flora Saddle to Barron Flat and Kill Devil tracks.”

Dr Smith first proposed the idea in a letter to the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) in 1998 when he was first the Minister of Conservation and the trial was later introduced on the Heaphy Track in 2010.

“It has been a long and painful process getting the changes to the general rules for National Parks and the necessary amendments to the park plan approved by the NZCA and the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board,” Dr Smith says.

“There has been a lot of debate about the impact of mountain bikers on the track and their interaction with trampers. The reality is that the Heaphy Track and its hut facilities had little use, with only about 500 users during these winter months. The feedback from both bikers and trampers has been that with goodwill and common sense, both can use the track. The damage to the track and the impact on species like Powelliphanta snails was found to be of little difference between bikers and trampers.

“This positive announcement will be particularly welcomed in Karamea and Collingwood. These small centres have benefitted from approximately 2000 people who have biked the track each winter period over the past three years when fewer visitors have been around.
“There has been significant uncertainty since the trial ended in September, and this decision enables the Nelson and West Coast’s visitor industries to plan and market their facilities and services knowing that winter mountain biking is now here to stay.

“Consideration is also being given to extending the mountain biking season from five months from1 May to 30 September, to eight months from 1 March to 30 November, excluding the Easter period. The proposal, put forward by DOC, will be considered at the time of the next Kahurangi National Park Management Plan review in 2014/15.

“This extension is estimated to increase the number of bikers on the track to 4000 per year, and the annual economic benefits to Golden Bay and Karamea from $2.3 million to $3.4 million. I am confident that if we invest in good facilities and track improvements the infrastructure can cope with these increased numbers.

“DOC has also invested in a new hut at Heaphy and four new major suspension bridges on the track. Further track upgrades in the Mackay Hut area are planned for next year. We have also come to an arrangement with the Tasman District Council where DOC will construct three new bridges at a cost of $630,000 on the final five kilometres of metal access road to the Golden Bay end of the Heaphy Track to improve all-weather access.

“I urge bikers not to attempt to ride the track in one day or to underestimate the terrain, and on advice from mountain biking experts, the grading has been raised from intermediate to advanced.

“This confirmation of the Heaphy as a long-term mountain biking winter track is exciting for both the Nelson and West Coast regions. It is these sorts of unique experiences that help define the lifestyle and adventure that makes this part of New Zealand such a great place to live and visit.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news